How To Make A Budget Binder

It’s always good to know how your money is being spent and the easiest way to do that is by tracking it.

Most people work best with a visual aid. While you can use a simple spreadsheet, they are unfortunately very boring. 

How To Make A Budget Binder

That is where a budget binder comes in handy.

What Is A Budget Binder?

A visual way to track all your spendings but without the tedious nature of a spreadsheet.

The benefit of having a physical binder to organize your spending is that it allows you to include any cash envelopes, or documentation that may help you when looking at your expenses and incomes.

Unlike a spreadsheet, a budget binder gives you the opportunity to customize to your heart’s content.

Include colors, calligraphy, stickers, anything you need to make your binder as visually appealing as possible.

The prettier it is the more fun it will be, which is ideal for a bird you’re probably going to see a lot of.

Having everything laid out in front of you also allows you to easily create a plan for your spending.

Having goals and a way to reach them can help take away any stress that money comes with.

What You Need?

Everything on this list is completely optional, a budget planner can be made with just a pen and notepad if you want.

Most of this you might already have in your home. Remember, we’re supposed to be on a budget so don’t splurge on super expensive stationary.

Unless, of course, you desperately want to, in which case you can write it down in your new beautiful binder.

  • Binder – Try to pick one in your favorite color or a cool pattern.
  • Paper – Make sure it will fit nicely into your binder.
  • Plastic pockets – To put any receipts into.
  • Dividers – For easy organization by month.
  • Fun pens – Colored or fun designs, make it something that you are excited to use.
  • Highlighters – Color code everything!
  • White out – Mistakes can happen, may as well be prepared.
  • Paper clips – A less permanent option to staples.
  • Hole punch  – Only needed if you are using an actual binder and not a notebook.
  • Calculator – Your phone calculator will also work.
  • Online PDFs – If you don’t feel like designing then you can find pre-made ones online.

Layout

You want your binder to be easy to navigate, how you do this can vary from person to person.

Our advice is to have a divider for each month, and use different colors for outgoings and ingoings.

Monthly Budget

Try to keep track of your budget on a monthly basis. There should be a column for income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses.

Try to be as accurate as possible for best results.

Fixed expenses (rent, phone bill, internet etc) are what come out in a set amount every month.

Variable expenses (groceries, gas, nights out) are what can change every month or may not be a every month thing.

Seeing everything you’re buying written down in front of you can really stop you from overspending.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be spending any more money than you need to.

Try to budget some fun money for yourself every month, you deserve it for all the organizing you’re doing.

Monthly Goals

Every month make sure you write down your goals so you know why you’re saving. You can have small monthly goals and/or a long term goal. 

A small monthly goal can be as simple as buying a new pair of shoes.

Whereas a long term goal could be paying off your student loans or going on your dream vacation.

How To Make A Budget Binder (1)

Calendar

Try to include a monthly calendar. You can take note of when you get paid, what days certain bills go out, or any events that will happen during the month like birthdays. 

Never let an unexpected standing order take you by surprise again.

Debt Payments

Let’s be honest, most of us have debts, so keeping track of them is a worldwide struggle.

By keeping a page dedicated to tracking them all in your binder, you can make it less of a struggle for yourself.

Try to order them based on which ones you’re trying to pay off first if you have multiple.

It will also be a good idea to put down what the interest rates for each of them are.

If you know when you’re expected to pay them off then make note of that too, it can give you something to look forward to.

Savings Tracker

The goal of a budget binder is to have savings at the end of the month. Any money not spent should ideally be put into a savings account. 

By having a monthly savings tracker it can let you know how close you are to your financial goals.

Subscription Tracker

In this modern age everything is subscription based. So keeping track of them all is just as important as all your other expenses. 

You are able to see exactly what you’re paying for every month. And, if you see something that you are subscribed to but don’t use as often, then you can save money by canceling it. 

Conclusion

With a budget binder you will be saving money in no time. The main use of it should be that it is fun and easy to use, but still important.

If you don’t know what you should be putting into your savings account then use your first month as a basis.

If you find after a couple of months that it was an anomaly then you can adjust accordingly.

The most important thing is to remember to keep on top of it.

Writing in a little every week is better than cramming a lot in at the end of the month.

So get crafty and get organized!

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘How To Budget For An Apartment‘.

Andre Flowers
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